Stock Futures Inch Higher as Trump Goes Nuclear on Twitter

The Fed minutes will be released at 2 p.m. ET

Jan 3, 2018 at 9:14 AM
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U.S. stock futures are trading higher ahead of today's 2 p.m. ET release of the minutes from the latest Fed meeting, where the central bank issued its fifth rate hike in two years. However, today's pre-market upside is being contained after President Donald Trump tweeted that his "Nuclear Button" is "much bigger & more powerful" than that of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, effectively re-escalating tensions between the two countries. Nevertheless, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) could carve out record highs today, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) may follow suit.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • 14 key price points to watch in 2018, courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone.
  • This retail stock could be a "buy" right now.
  • The latest stock surging on blockchain buzz.
  • Plus, chip stocks get set to surge, a busted Chinese M&A deal, and Target set for another rally.

us stock index futures jan 3

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.08 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 504,836 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.47, while the 21-day moving average moved down to 0.57.
  2. Several chip stocks appear poised for a positive day, after a design flaw in Intel's (INTC) processor chips has Linux and Microsoft (MSFT) scrambling to issue software updates. At last check, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) is up 6.8% in electronic trading, Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is 1.8% higher, and Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) has tacked on 2.2%.
  3. U.S. regulators have blocked Moneygram International Inc's (NASDAQ:MGI) sale to China's Ant Financial -- an Alibaba-backed financial firm. MGI shares are set to open the session down nearly 8%.
  4. Shares of Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) jumped 3.7% yesterday after Loup Ventures predicted the retailer would be bought out by Amazon (AMZN) in 2018. TGT stock is up another 1.8% ahead of the bell, after receiving price-target hikes from Telsey Advisory (to $65) and Deutsche Bank (to $57), though both of these upwardly revised estimates are below TGT's Tuesday close at $67.63.
  5. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index, construction spending, and motor vehicle sales are due out today. Rite Aid (RAD) and Commercial Metals (CMC) will report earnings.

Pre-market stock movers today

Asian Markets Extend Win Streaks, Led by Tech

Stocks in Asia pushed higher once again, benefiting from the record-setting session in the U.S. China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.7% to bring its daily win streak to four, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng picked up 0.2%, pushing its own win streak to seven days. Tech stocks in the region outperformed, including a strong session from Tencent, while a number of steel stocks also saw outsized gains. South Korea's Kospi also closed higher, adding 0.3%. Markets in Japan were again closed for holiday.

In Europe traders are mostly reacting to the European Union's (EU) new financial markets regulation known as MiFID II, which goes into effect today. Meanwhile, retail stocks are seeing some of the largest gains so far, led by Next’s upbeat holiday update, while automakers and healthcare stocks also outperform. At last check, France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX were both up 0.5%, and London's FTSE 100 was hovering near breakeven.

What This Election Year Means for Stocks

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